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Isn't exclusion necessary?

epeck's picture

When we were talking about how Persepolis excludes many women, and only tells the story of one woman, I kept coming back to the idea that exclusion is necessary.  Although feminism seeks to give voice to those who have been underheard, I don't think that works of literature can, or should try to show every side of the story or have every voice heard.  Of course, it would be great if everyone's story were told through some medium, but individual works shouldn't have to do any more than tell one story.  It's up to the reader to think about the other characters, such as the extremists in Iran, who we are not hearing from.  I don't think that excluding an opinion makes something un-feminist.  So many choices have to be made in the process of creating a story or work of art, that it seems ridiculous to say that feminism means hearing from the unheard, and therefore a text or peice is not feminist if it only gives one side to a story.  A feminist person should try to hear all opinions, but it's too much to hold up each text and ask if it represents all sides of a story, although it is important to keep in mind who we are actually hearing from and not hearing from.  


michelle.lee's picture

Maybe it's not exclusion, but

Maybe it's not exclusion, but I think a group (not just feminism) should always try to understand another group's ideology or opinion but not have to apply it to themselves.  I sometimes think in society today, "in-group, out-group" phenomena seems to be happening a lot more.  I think one of the reasons why this happens is for a group to seem legitmate, especially a minority group, their platform needs to be an extreme to be seen as strong.  It can't just be an "in the middle," mild platform.  This is very upsetting since it would be nice if groups could openly express without this need to prove themselves.  I feel it often takes away from a group's ideology if they are too extreme, but maybe that's just my own opinion.  

I agree that it is important for people, not just feminists, to truly listen to another person's opinions and ideologies as a sign of respect.  It does not mean that a person has to adopt another person's ideology but it is a matter of reciprocity.  If you show respect for another person's ideology or opinion, it is safe to expect the same kind of treatment.


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